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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bagan Burmese Restaurant, Strathfield

Pae parata $5.50

The food of Burma isn't widely known or recognised around the world. Sydneysiders, blessed with such a diversity of restaurants at their fingertips, have a specialist Burmese restaurant in their own backyard.

Burma shares borders with several countries in Southeast Asia: China, Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh and India, and has borrowed elements from all of them to create a unique style of cuisine. Curries sit alongside salads, joined by tofu and fermented fish.

The menu has changed a little since my last visit here in 2006, moving from gigantic laminated A3 sheets to a spiral-bound folder that is much easier to peruse. The decor is still much the same, dark timber chairs and tables in a chocolate brown colour scheme that resonates a sense of calm.

I'd been keen to order the pae parata and we're rewarded with a square of golden pastry that has a delicate flakiness similar to roti. We tear it into small pieces and use it to scoop up dollops of the green lentil puree, crunchy with a garnish of fried red shallots.

Pennywort salad $5.50

Pennywort salad is perfect for summer, thin shavings of red onion tossed through with tomato, fish sauce and coriander. There's not a great deal of pennywort present, but the salad is full of zing.

Fried salt and pepper pork chop $12

Our penchant for anything deep-fried leads us to the fried salt and pepper pork chop. Coated generously in batter, the pork is tender on the bone and we relish the scattering of chopped shallots and spicy red chilli.

Crispy beef (chilli) $10

We struggle with the crispy beef, and not just with the chilli factor. It's mind-numblingly hot, bearable for myself, but several degrees too hot for R who isn't the biggest chilli fan. I find the beef more dry, than crispy, with almost a beef jerky consistency. The fried shallot chips only add to the sense of dryness.

Bagan chicken $12

We finish with Bagan chicken, strips that are battered, fried and then doused with a sticky and sweet chilli sauce. Sesame seeds add nuttiness and shallots help cut through the grease.

Faluda $3.50

The candy pink concoction that is faluda doubles as both a drink and dessert. The crushed ice drink is super sweet and strong with the flavour of rosewater, made creamier by a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A fat straw is provided to help suck up the tangle of cooked vermicelli noodles and finely chopped jelly.

The prices? We eat for $15 a head plus drinks. That's sweeter than our pink faluda.

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Bagan on Urbanspoon

Bagan Burmese Restaurant
Shop 4, 41 The Boulevarde
Strathfield, Sydney

Tel: +61 (02) 8746 0666

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 12pm-10pm
Closed on Mondays

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Strathfield - Bagan (Oct06) (Burmese)
Strathfield - Crystal Seafood (Chinese)
Strathfield -
Bar Biscotti (Cafe/Breakfast)
Strathfield North - Gorkha Palace (Nepalese)
Strathfield North - Outback Steakhouse (American)
21 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/03/2010 12:32:00 am


  • At 2/03/2010 1:50 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh love the colour of the faluda and lol i can imagine you saying faluda over and over all night

  • At 2/03/2010 4:06 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Green lentil puree - yum! Much better than the guacamole I thought it was at first (can't help not being a fan of the avocado. It's a fault of mine.)

    And I love the look of the pennywort salad, as I'm helpless in the face of "zingy" salads. America, you can keep your Ranch dressing, and I'll keep my lime juice and fish sauce :P

  • At 2/03/2010 4:43 am, Blogger joey@forkingaroundsydney said…

    I'm drooling at the salt and pepper pork, yum! The Bagan chicken looks like honey chicken, hehe. Have to put this on my list for sure! Thanks Helen!

  • At 2/03/2010 5:26 am, Anonymous billy@ATFT said…

    I want the pratha, so I can say "I am the devil who eats pratha" hahahahah...

  • At 2/03/2010 5:36 am, Blogger Dandy said…

    That looked fantastic! Now I'll have to search LA for a Brumese restaurant.

  • At 2/03/2010 9:02 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Now this is just freaky. I was there for lunch on Saturday and am working on my review as we speak.
    Looks like we chose a few of the same dishes!

  • At 2/03/2010 9:20 am, Blogger A cupcake or two said…

    The faluda looks yummy. I have never had Burmese food before. Thanks for the review now I know where to go to try it.

  • At 2/03/2010 11:03 am, Anonymous foodwink said…

    I've never had Burmese food, so this is an eye-opener for me :) Love the pile of deep-fried shallots on the pae parata. Yum.

  • At 2/03/2010 12:26 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    That is one seriously Barbie-pink drink! And so suitable in the current revival of everything 80s =p

  • At 2/03/2010 10:43 pm, Anonymous Japanese cooking said…

    I've never had Burmese food, and never even thought about having it but your photos made it look delicious! I've started a blog about how to cook Japanese food using ingredients readily available in Sydney. Please check it out www.sumokitchen.com

  • At 2/04/2010 6:49 am, Anonymous Trisha said…

    For $15 a head and all those lovely dishes, I think I'm sold! And deep fried pork mmmmm this is only 5 minutes from my place so it'll be in one of my to go to list.

  • At 2/04/2010 7:44 am, Anonymous Helen said…

    We went to Bagan Burmese a while back and loved the pae parata.

    We actually booked which was a good thing because we arrived at peak time when the place was packed with locals with the only spare table our lonely looking reserved one.

  • At 2/04/2010 9:34 am, Anonymous Tara said…

    I just ate dinner there a week ago! Bagan is one of my favourite restaurants and it's great to see you reviewing it here.

    I love the faludas too! We also love their desserts - try the chilli chocolate ice-cream sometime!

  • At 2/04/2010 1:10 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    I used to live in Strathfield, but I never got around to going to this place (I was too distracted by Homebush Indian places I think). It's an interesting mix of styles - I'll have to give it a go.

  • At 2/04/2010 1:35 pm, Blogger Rambling Tart said…

    I have never tried Burmese food, but these photos have got me so curious! That crispy beef looks incredible. :-)

  • At 2/04/2010 6:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I haven't heard of Burmese food and delighted to learn that they have parata! All dishes look inviting. It's always a pleasure to read about all these hidden little gems on your blog.

  • At 2/05/2010 4:22 pm, Blogger trashtastika.com said…

    I didn't know there was a Burmese restaurant in Strathfield!! The food looks yummy! Since my hubby works near there, I think I'll organise a night out there in the next week. Thanks for sharing this :)

  • At 2/05/2010 7:18 pm, Anonymous Fiona said…

    oh yum. PINK!

  • At 2/06/2010 4:03 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - I wasn't saying that before, but gah, I think I will now! lol

    Hi Hannah - Oh I love avocado but yeah it would be odd on a parata. The pennywort salad was lovely - zingy is one of my favourite sensations too!

    Hi Joey - The Bagan chicken was quite sweet but not as sweet as honey chicken. Hope you get there soon :)

    Hi Billy - lol. You would!

    Hi Dandy - The meal was delicious. Let me know if you find a Burmese restaurant in LA!

    Hi John - That is a coincedence! Great minds eh? lol

    Hi A Cupcake or Two - It's interesting that Burmese food hasn't had much exposure. Will be curious to hear what you think.

    Hi foodwink - Deep-fried shallots are always good aren't they?

    Hi Mademoiselle Delicieuse - It is a shade of Barbie pink! I like the 80s reference too :)

    Hi Japanese cooking - Thanks for the link. Good luck with your blog!

    Hi Trisha - Oh you will have to get there soon. The dishes are really very reasonably priced.

    Hi Helen - I have seen this place get very busy. Always a good idea to book - thanks for the reminder.

    Hi Tara - I didn't realise they had chilli chocolate ice cream. Will have to get it next time!

    Hi Arwen - I agree, lots of interesting restaurants around here, especially in Homebush. Funny how the grass is always greener...

    Hi Rambling Tart - The crispy beef wasn't my favourite but it was unusual. Perhaps you might find a few Burmese recipes online?

    Hi Ellie - Isn't it great how dishes mingle and mix across borders? And thanks, I love reading all about your amazing cooking exploits!

    Hi The Fashionate Traveller - Bagan has been here for a few years now, although I expect a lot of Sydneysiders still don't realise it's there. Hope you enjoy your meal :)

    Hi Fiona - lol. Pink is good, yes?

  • At 2/07/2010 9:39 pm, Blogger Yas @ hungry.digital.elf. said…

    Ahh awesome! Never tried any Burmese food before. Interesting, and it's not too far from my area!

  • At 3/24/2010 2:09 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Yas - You'll have to check it out sometime. There's fried food! lol.


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